University of Mississippi

Poetry infiltration

September 26, 2011—To celebrate 100 Thousand Poets for Change, in Oxford, Mississippi, the MFA poets and Professor Ann Fisher-Wirth carried on a little infiltration of poetry into the day of the home game against Georgia.

To celebrate 100 Thousand Poets for Change, in Oxford, Mississippi, the MFA poets and Professor Ann Fisher-Wirth carried on a little infiltration of poetry into the day of the home game against Georgia. On Friday night they chalked poems on the sidewalk panels around a fountain that is at the center of campus, and Saturday at dawn they chalked poems downtown on the Square. Also they made beautiful 3X5 cards with poems on them, for people at various restaurants and the bookstore and public library to have as a gift, and MFA poet Emileigh Barnes made a series of decorated broadsides that will hang in the local art gallery and later at another gallery in another town — broadsides of faculty and students in our program. Several of the poets read poems to English classes at Oxford High School. And at a potluck Friday night, they decorated beer cups with poems, as a giveaway in the Grove where all the tailgaters are partying.

Responding to the call for an international day of poetry actions, Ann Fisher-Wirth asked her students in the graduate poetry workshop if they would become involved. Josh Davis and Emileigh Barnes primarily took charge of organizing the event. Milly West, who is a professional photographer, took lots of great photos. Here is what we accomplished:

100,000 Poets for Change: By the Numbers

1,000 — 3.5 x 5.5 poems distributed to 10 local businesses as gifts for their patrons.

900 — 8.5 x 11 poems handed out at Oxford High School and plastered on cars all over campus this afternoon.

200 — Poetry-decorated Solo cups handed out in the grove.

12+ — Poems chalked both on campus and all over downtown Oxford.

15 — Handmade broadsides — featuring the work of our MFAs and faculty — on display at Southside Gallery and the Public Library. Go see them today, if you haven’t already!

4 — OHS classes visited and read to.